Expenses to transport and communication passed NOK 30 billion


Norwegian counties’ and municipalities’ gross operating expenses in transport and communication increased by NOK 1.3 billion to NOK 30.8 billion in 2015. Expenses for the provincial and local roads constituted NOK 13.5 billion, while NOK 15.2 billion was spent on public transport.

The counties’ gross operating expenses for transport and communication increased by 5 per cent, and totalled just over NOK 23.5 billion in 2015. Of this, NOK 8.3 billion was spent on operations and maintenance of the provincial road network, while NOK 15.2 billion went to public transport. This corresponded to an increase in the counties’ operating expenses by NOK 731 million on roads, and NOK 399 million on public transport, compared to 2014. The stronger growth in expenses on road is not atypical. Since 2010, the proportion of the counties' expenses for operation and maintenance of provincial roads increased by 5 percentage points to just over 35 per cent in 2015.

NOK 12.2 billion for the purchase of public transport in 2015

Eighty per cent of the counties' spending on public transport was on purchases from external operators. The picture is reversed for production of services related to provincial roads. The counties’ own production amounted to NOK 6.1 billion in 2015, or 74 per cent of the counties' total expenses on roads this year. 

NOK 8 in every NOK 10 in gross investment expenditures in provincial roads

The counties' investments in provincial roads increased during the first few years after the administrative reform in 2010. While NOK 6.5 billion was invested in 2010, this increased to NOK 8.1 billion in 2013. The amount was slightly higher in 2014, but in 2015 was back at the 2013 level. The total investment expenditures for transport and communication purposes in the counties amounted to NOK 10.1 billion in 2015.

Figure 1

Figure 1. The counties' gross operating expenses in the transport and communication sector

Increased expenses by 9 per cent per kilometre of provincial road

The counties’ expenses for operation and maintenance of provincial roads amounted to an average of NOK 186.600 per kilometre of road in 2015. This represents an increase from 2014 of nearly NOK 16 000 or 9.1 per cent. This was slightly lower than the growth in the previous year (11 per cent). In the period 2010-2015, the counties' gross operating expenses on roads increased by 70 per cent, or NOK 76.200 per kilometre of road (nominally). 

NOK 7 out of NOK 10 equals the municipalities’ expenses to local roads

In the transport and communication sector the municipalities’ gross operating expenses increased by 2.0 per cent to almost NOK 7.3 billion in 2015. Of this, 71.4 per cent, or just over NOK 5.2 billion, was spent on operation and maintenance of the local road network, an increase of 2.9 per cent from the previous year. 

Still significant growth in investments in local roads

The municipalities’ investment in the transport and communication sector was in the magnitude of NOK 4.2 billion to NOK 4.3 billion per year in the period 2010-2012. In 2013, investment in the sector increased by almost 15 per cent and in 2014 by 10 per cent, to NOK 5.2 billion. There was no sign of a reduction in investment in the sector in 2015 either. The growth from 2014 was almost 11 per cent to NOK 5.8 billion. About NOK 4.4 billion was invested in local roads, a growth of almost 12 per cent from 2014. 

Almost NOK 600 million spent on street lightning

The municipalities are responsible for the street lightning along the national and provincial roads in addition to the street lighting along the local roads. This is a significant expense item in the municipal accounts, and amounted to NOK 595 million in 2015. For each of the years in the period 2010-2012 the expenditure amounted to approximately NOK 550 million, while increasing to roughly NOK 600 million for each of the three subsequent years. Approximately NOK 475 million went to lighting along municipal roads in 2015, while more then NOK 120 million was spent on lighting along national and provincial roads with municipal responsibility for lighting.